Thursday, November 29, 2018

I day

Just before Halloween I took the kids to story time at the library and we played a cute little game that I decided I wanted to recreate in our preschool co-op. They had several paper pumpkins, each a different colour, as well as a little ghost. The librarian would hide the ghost behind a pumpkin and then after saying a rhyme ("Little ghost, little ghost! Which pumpkin do you like most?") she called on a child to pick a pumpkin to look behind.

It went over with the kids really well.

My next lesson was a Thanksgiving one and I was trying and trying to come up with a variation of this game to play with the kids. But I couldn't come up with anything. Pilgrim doesn't rhyme with much. Turkey? Pie? Still couldn't think of anything.

It ended up not mattering because I didn't end up handling the week before Thanksgiving break.

So today was my next teaching day.

I was in charge of teaching about the letter /I/.

If it were up to me, we wouldn't have a letter of the week because (A) the kids are only three years old, (B) teaching the letters in isolation means the children learn them "without connection to meaningful reading and writing," which means that (C) they have trouble "transfer[ing] this knowledge to literacy tasks later, so basically (D) it's a "serious disadvantage" compared to a more whole language approach.

But I missed the meeting about the co-op this summer because I hadn't committed to doing it because I was not-so-secretly hoping that we would be moving before the school year began. So I was only invited into the co-op after a couple of other families dropped out and our staying here became inevitable and by then I had no say in the curriculum. That said, I was happy they took me in so late in the game and, frankly, it's a co-op so I have a lot of leeway when it comes to lesson plans.

I have a bit of an existential crisis every time it's my turn to teach, however. Because why did I sign up for this? Three-year-olds are the worst! And Alexander just fusses the whole time! And I don't want to do things (I want to not do things)!


Anyway, it's fine.


All of this was to tell you that I was so proud of myself for coming up with a way to use the game in my lesson this week!

We watched a phonics video about /i/ and made /Ii/ out of play dough, and then we read the book, Little Dogs Say Rough! because it has a lot of lovely i-words: kiss, this, little, chick, mice that say, "Ick, ick, ick!"

We pointed out /i/ in different words and talked about the short i sound. And then I brought out a little paper chick and some paper ice cream cones, each a different colour, and we played, "Little chick, little chick! Which ice cream would you pick?"

And it went just as well as it had during story time at the library. The kids loved it!

And then we did a bunch of other things—we melted ice cubes that had the letter /I/ frozen in them (while I read Chicken Soup with Rice, which showcases some more lovely /i/ sounds) and we built ice cream sundaes (out of paper, again) with a big I for the cone, and played ice cream parlour, and then pretended we were "inspectors" and used magnifying glasses to find all sorts of things that began with the letter /i/ that I'd hidden around the room and then decided if they were /i/ as in "ice cream" or /i/ as in "icky, icky."

Overall the lesson went rather smoothly.

Now I'm thinking of ways I can use the same game again for a different lesson. I'm in charge of the Valentine's Day party, so how's this: Little Cupid, little Cupid! Which heart is the most..."

That might not work so well...